Selling Memories and More in Montauk

You can find everything you never knew you needed
When Georgia and Tom Flight moved back to her hometown full time, she thought he might have nothing to do. Wrong indeed! The two keep busy in Montauk with three children and six stores. Janis Hewitt

   In one of the six stores owned by Tom and Georgia Flight in Montauk, you can find everything you never knew you needed. The couple took over four of the stores in the Gosman’s complex in the harbor area in 2009 — Homeport, Fish City, Capt. Kidd, and Pier Group — and opened Homeport Town and Pier Group Sport a month ago in the hamlet’s downtown area.
    At the docks, most of their inventory is of the nautical style.
    Homeport sells indoor and outdoor furniture, some made from old fishing boats, as well as candles, lanterns, plates, wineglasses, platters, wind chimes, jewelry, lamps, and other home goods, and hostess or housewarming gifts.
    Before moving full time to Montauk, Mr. Flight, who was born and raised in London, handled real estate strategy for the Gap and Old Navy. He was also a buyer and planning director for Ann Taylor and handled the outlet and Internet business for Ann Taylor Loft. He worked in San Francisco and Manhattan and hated the commute to Montauk, where Ms. Flight (nee Biondo) was born and raised.
    The couple, who now have three children, met in London while she was studying abroad, and married in 2002. Ms. Flight, a journalist, said it was her husband’s idea to move back full time to her hometown. Her worries that there wouldn’t be enough for him to do in Montauk proved to be unfounded.
    “I was ready to become a pool boy in Shelter Island,” Mr. Flight said with a laugh. It’s a luxury, he said, to work so close to home and be able to run home at any time of day to see his children. “For me the lifestyle here is great. To have that freedom brings my blood pressure down,” he said, adding, “So much of what we sell is memories.”
    Fish City is a kitschy nook of a store that sells beach bags, decorative napkins, glass candleholders, towels, humorous plaques, some jewelry, straw hats, and much more, all at inexpensive prices.
    When the couple took over Capt. Kidd, which Ms. Flight calls her baby, they switched the inventory up a bit to add birthday gifts and fun, inexpensive toys for children. In the middle of the store is a Thomas the Tank Engine track for tiny fingers to play with while parents shop. There are also infant and toddler dresses, shirts, sweatshirts, and stuffed animals.
    At the Pier Group, a men’s clothing store which offers windbreakers, casual dress shirts, hats, caps, deck shoes, and sweatshirts, Mr. Flight added a sportier line.
    Pier Group Sport on South Etna Avenue near Naturally Good sells wo­men’s clothing, and Homeport Town sells most of the same items as the harbor store but with more fine jewelry. “I thought Montauk’s Main Street should have a jewelry store,” Mr. Flight said.
    The couple said that the dock area isn’t as busy as it once was, a shame, Mr. Flight said, because it’s a great place for people to shop and let their children play on the large grassy area and decorative boat that invites climbing. They also noticed that it’s a younger, more affluent crowd that seems to be drawn to the area.
    The stores in the dock area are open every day from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Homeport Town is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Pier Group Sport is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The stores’ combined Web site is mymontauk.com.